This is the new gilded age. I am happy
for my stack of pennies, a new used car,

a tax bill with my name on it, coffee
straight from the pot each morning.

The mountains here rise
at a very walkable angle.

There are plenty of seats on the summit.
You can see the dark clouds amassing

from miles away. I had a big wedding.
I’ve stood beneath a waterfall.

I put my arms around my family
in the Christmas photo.

Everything is filled with color. If only I had
a cigarette. If only I had cocaine.

The world is on fire.
So this is the end.

Photo by Eyestetix Studio on Unsplash

Trapper Markelz

Trapper Markelz (he/him) writes from Arlington, Massachusetts. He is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Childproof Sky, a Cherry Dress Chapbooks 2023 selection. His work has appeared in the journals Baltimore Review, Stillwater Review, Wild Roof Journal, Greensboro Review, and Passengers Journal, among others. Learn more at